Responding to an international call to the global arts and culture community, acclaimed artist and photographer Michel Comte will be the first high-profile artist to join a new environmentally focused initiative created by Wavelength Foundation
The artist will sail to the Arctic to for Black Light, a commission by Wavelength Foundation. This large-scale multimedia art installation will be Michel Comtes response to the Foundations call to artists to take a leading role in the fight against climate change. As part of the installation Comte will invite all local and international sailors to take part and witness the event.
Time and apathy are the biggest challenges we face in the race against climate change; arts and culture possess an unique power to inspire and to shake up, to share ideas and to unite in a common cause, notes Michel Comte. Visual arts and culture are powerful tools to convey inconvenient truths: one of them is that we have not even begun to grasp the dimensions of the damage humans have made due to excess carbon output and greenhouse gases emission, and of the consequences that will haunt generations to come.
Long a vocal advocate for the cause of critical environmental thinking, Comte has dedicated large parts of his career to the examination of and engagement with endangered nature and humanitarian causes. As a war photographer, he worked with the International Red Cross as well as working in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Sudan and Cambodia. A keen climber, Comte has been portraying glaciers around the world for the past 30 years. He recently presented three major multimedia exhibitions directly connected to climate change, Light at MAXXI in Rome (November 2017), Black Light, White Light at the Triennale di Milano (November 2017), and Light III at Galerie Urs Meile in Beijing (May 2018).
The Wavelength Foundation was formed in 2017 as a cultural catalyst, a platform and a movement to encourage the arts and culture communities to participate in a global campaign to raise awareness about one of todays most urgent causes; the effects of climate change. The Foundation is calling upon artists, musicians, writers, thinkers, cultural, scientific and educational institutions to unite and form a new cross-disciplinary movement that will take on the enormous task of creating a culture of global awareness and change. A task that can only be accomplished with the support of the largest environmental alliance around the globe.
Wavelength co-founder Oliver Krug says: We are delighted Michel Comte is joining us. Comte is incorporating exactly the spirit needed to open eyes and change minds. For decades all of us have been too late and too slow. We need a radical change of culture to make up for lost time. Youve got to be a bit hardcore in order to cut through the noise. In the end, only the real thing will do and if that means a demanding journey to the edge of this world under sails and stars then so be it.
As the IPCC report released this autumn revealed, the world is just 12 years from reaching its next tipping point: the moment when the fall-out from global warming becomes irreversible. In the face of such a global crisis, culture and contemporary art are needed more than ever to share a powerful message around the world.
This most recent report must be read as a stern warning. While the Paris Agreement from 2015 is under threat politically, the world is already experiencing extreme weather, sea level rise, ocean acidification, heat, drought, floods and the resulting poverty. Every step in the wrong direction comes with further worrying effects on wildlife, crops, water availability and human health, as well as migration, displacement and war.